Monday, 23 February 2015

This Week On Instagram #2

Happy Monday! I thought I would do my second edition of this post today since it's the start of a new week, so what better way to wish in the new college term (yay?) than to look back at my half term? I'll be uploading a post like this every Monday from now on, but be sure to follow my Instagram @deskparties for regular updates...

This week has consisted of more work than play, however there's been no shortage of lie ins and no-makeup days. So most days I have slapped on my five-product face and using dry shampoo like it's going out of fashion. I mean, this might be a bit tmi, but I may of gone five days without washing my locks...I know...

More excitingly on Friday I treated my mum to a visit to a new coffeehouse that's in town; Baila Coffee and Vinyl; a cute cafe tucked into the centre of town, with awesome interior and even more awesome coffee. I've written about it ready for the next weekend post, so keep your eyes peeled for that this Sunday. Spoiler alert: they make the best brownies ever. In-house *drools*

So this week is back to college but I am sure I will take a few snaps and get up to a few things in the meantime...

Sunday, 22 February 2015

The Weekend Post: Taking Time

I'm not going to lie; I've had a pretty bad week. I've been working more than usual, as well as keeping up with college projects and revision, so sleep has been pretty limited. What's more is that I got rejected by a guy I've liked for a good few months. It could be worse, but come this weekend and I. Am. So. Tired. In both the literal and figurative senses.

So if you are mending a broken heart, stressed out to the max, or just feeling under the weather, here are a few ways that I like to take some time out today, that can hopefully inspire you to do the same. Because that's what Sunday's are for, right?

Get a make-under
Slap off the makeup, tie your hair back and let your skin breathe. Yes, those sunglasses might be necessary to hide hideous eye bags and/or any breakouts, but your skin will thank you for it. And it's a physical reminder that today is for you, and you only. 

Switch it off 
Work email notifications? No thanks. Apologetic texts from said ex-boyfriend/ex-crush? A-bye-bye. Remove any negative or stressful energy by removing yourself from the negative or stressful situation. However if the feelings still haunt you, engage yourself in something creative. Even if it's composing an angry poem or even email. As long as it rhymes, right?

Think forward
Sundays are first and foremost for relaxing, but a useful way to spend the latter of the day - one F.R.I.E.N.D.S marathon and several one-bite brownies later - is to plan for the week ahead. I usually aallocate daily tasks, but weekly goals are good, too. Try not too think too big: make doable goals. I find planning the reward for completing it quite useful too, who wouldn't want an excuse to treat themselves to something they love? For me? This time next week I aim to be sporting a new red lipstick while scoffing a bag of mini eggs. 

Friday, 20 February 2015

The Budget Buy: Wash And Blow Dry In A Bottle

Dry shampoo; a lazy girls best friend. Going for more than three days without a shampoo session is a regular occurrence for me lately, so I always rely on a can of the dry stuff to refresh those roots and go. But the bane of my life? That dry, white residue that sits in your scalp, and won't budge no matter how  long you try to brush through it, it still stays put - hello, dandruff look-a-like.

So when my local Superdrug finally started stocking Colab's Dry Shampoos, I didn't hesitate picking a couple up. It struck my attention mainly because it's designed by Ruth Crilly; a total blogger babe, however it's sheer invisible formula was something that was worth a shot. And it works.

I picked up the London fragrance: scented with bergamot, musk and magnolia so with the mix of floral and musky notes it leaves your hair smelling warm, clean and fresh. I find the best way to apply any dry shampoo is to take my hair section by section and then spraying a few inches away from my face, onto my scalp. And the first time I picked up my can of Colab it came to my surprise to see no white patches! As I brushed it through my hair, I could definitely see the product absorbing all grease and oil and it left my hair looking somewhat presentable. 

I also grabbed the Extreme Volume edition in the same fragrance, and I find this worked well after washing and blow drying for a back combed effect, without the tangled hair mess teasing leaves you with. So at £3.49 a can (£4.49 each for the extreme volume range) for perfect third day hair every time, and reducing my frequency of bad hair days, I think this is definitely my best budget buy for quite some time...

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Waiting For The University Offers

So I wrote an advice post in Novermber describing my struggle of writing a personal statement - so I thought it would make sense and be quite suitable, as I have now received all five of my offers (eep!), to give a few worlds of advice for tackling the next step in the application process: waiting for your results.

Limit your UCAS intake
Coming from personal experience, I know how easy it to obsessively check your UCAS track page to see if somehow a university has contacted you two minutes after you last looked. Typically they will send you an email if your status on any of your applications has changed, so try to relax and just check your emails once a day, like you would in the pre-UCAS days. 

They haven't forgotten you
'How have four of the universities replied and I'm still waiting for my 5th, a month later? Have they forgotten me?'. Again, this happened to me a few weeks ago, and although the choice was at the bottom of my preference list, the chance of getting all 5 offers, something I had been longing to see on my track page for weeks, was something I didn't want to risk losing. I'm lucky to have received all of my offers quite early, however bear in mind the final deadline for universities to get back to you is May 7th; three months from now. Some universities just take longer than others: be it having a smaller admissions team, or being a much larger centre, either way it will just take a little more time for some, so don't worry too much. 

Stay positive
Lastly, the most cliche tip - keep your head up. If you get rejected, if the univeristy has asked for grades you think you can't achieve, or you haven't received your first offer yet - just stay positive. Things happen for the best (most of the time, at least) and hurdles and falls will only make you stronger. If you are really struggling with the stress, I recommend copious cups of tea and as much chocolate as you require. It works best for these types of situations...

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

The Five-Product Face

If you are a fellow student, full time business women or a go-getter, and if you are anything like me; a girl with far too much makeup to her name, you will know the struggle to find a routine for slapping on your face, without wasting half an hour in front of the mirror that most days, you just don't have. Enter the five product face - which gives me bright enough skin, and enough coverage, as well as making me look somewhat put together.

Starting with a speedy layer of foundation; I recently tweeted for any suggestions for foundations for very pale skin, as my Bourjois Healthy Mix in Light Vanilla is too dark on me at the moment, several of you suggested Rimmel's Wake Me Up in Light Porcelain. It's the perfect colour match and it does what it says on the tin. I actually look as if I have slept when I slap this on. Then I quickly follow with my honorary 6th product (if I don't have time I'll pop some of the foundation under my eyes) the Wake Me Up Concealer if I've had a particularly rough night.

Next I add shape and some warmth to my face with Soap and Glory's Solar Powder: the perfect bronzer-meets-contour shade that ensures if you don't have time for both, this product is the one to turn to.

After quickly chiseling some cheekbones it's time for the eyes. Somedays I will only have time for a few lashings of mascara; currently I am trialling and testing Benefits new Rollerlash Mascara that is free in this months issue of ELLE magazine; sticky lipglosses and rubbery fake lashes as magazine supplements are now a thing of history. So far, so good with this product - the wand is very flexible and seperates, defines and blackens your eyelashes very effectively. 

However most days, my mascara will follow a very thick, very long winged line of Collection's Fast Stroke Liner. Applies easily, intensely black and doesn't budge - and you know it won't budge even if it's been a really long day at the office, or series of lectures. Trust me, I've put this stuff to the test.

The quickest way to achieve a quick but put together look is to rock a red lip, and recently I have been reaching for NARS' Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella - the perfect blue-toned red and the pencil nib acts as a liner and lippy in one. Can you tell I love a good multitasking product. However if I am not feeling the red I am usually using the same pencil product, but in the shade Desansco. It's satin finish feels super soft and natural on the lips, perfect for an off duty look.

Now the makeups done, where's my large soya latte...

Sunday, 8 February 2015

This Week On Instagram

No Weekend Post from me this week, the exciting things I got up to were mistakenly not joined by my DSLR (woops!) However I did take a few quick snaps on my phone, that I uploaded on my Instagram, deskparties, so give me a quick follow for a daily dose...

The last 7 days have consisted of long days in Costa sipping soya lattes whilst ploughing through piles of college work. And commuting on my bicycle was deemed impossible on Tuesday when my hometown saw a layer of snow hit our pavements overnight. So skidding across was avoided by stamping through the White stuff in my new H&M cleated sole brogues.

However the highlight of my week was spending my Friday off (shoutout to my lecturer for setting us a reading week, freeing up my Friday) visiting my best friend at Swansea University. She showed me around campus, I met her hilarious roommates for the first time, who let me in to her flat while she was at a lecture and made me feel very welcome. When she arrived, my arrival was followed by a suprisingly sunny afternoon's walk (Wales, your weather didn't disappoint this time!) along the seafront, followed by catching up on gossip over coffee and cake.

What did you all get up to this week? And what are your plans for the next? I'm back at all my college lectures this week, so along with work I will be busy, busy, busy! Roll on half term!

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Keeping The Balance Between Your Studies and Social Life

A post of this sort was bound to feature on my blog sometime soon, and I hope that my experience with working two jobs and going through studies and exam season simultaneously can help to offer you some words of advice (wisdom was a push) for juggling studies with your work or (the more difficult) social life.

Take a day off
As I work and study non-stop from Monday to Saturday, and go out on a Saturday night, I usually write Sundays off and recover from an evident hangover, drink too much coffee, catch up on sleep (and college work) and just take some time for myself. Allowing yourself a day a week (or half a day if your schedule is just that crazy) gives you enough head space to start afresh for a whole new week, but doesn't result in a major backlog of work afterwards. 

Keep socialising short and sweet
Long gone are the days you would sleep over your best friends house 3 days in a row. Now it's hard to even commit to one evening without a conflict of plans. I usually meet with friends on a one-on-one basis, because let's face it, Facebook chats need to begin at least a month in advance to get a large group together. Whether it's a quick coffee, lunch or in my case a lot of the time, piercing date, spending a couple of hours every so often is enough time to catch up without the stress of constantly cancelling plans.

Timetable your social life
If you are an organised freak like me, you may have already begun planning or writing up your revision timetable for your exams. Although this may seem eager, it gives you the chance to steady the studies and make time for friends, hobbies etc. much better than going under house arrest for the 2 weeks prior to exam season. 

Work with friends
Take it from me: a girl whose idea of rebellion is sneaking into another colleges library with a friend to revise, revising my with friends can be, dare I say it, quite fun. Always pick a quiet space; a bedroom, small coffee shop or library, so that distractions are kept to a minimum. I always tend to revise with friends who are taking the same subject/s as me, so we can compare mental and physical notes, because it can be easier than toy think to miss things in class, that your friend may have picked up, and vice versa. Friends are also good to test your knowledge, so get some q cards ready and test each other, It's also a good chance to gossip about your fellow classmates. But you didn't hear that from me...

College comes first
If you're deciding between going out on the town until 3am with your friends, or revising for an upcoming exam, it's logical which one you should choose. College impacts where and if you go to university, or into the job you aspire to, so stay focused and never forget your overall goals to keep you motivated. But in the end it's about finding the balance - never isolate yourself, meeting with friends on your study/college breaks will lift your mood and keep your stress levels lower, however neglecting revision and study time will stress you out to the max, so leave your friends with time to study before your next lesson. Don't sacrifice socialising, just negotiate it.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

The Weekend Post: A Coffee At Jacob's

One of the best things about Sundays is grabbing or making several coffees, especially if it's the day after a night out. In fact, when it comes to coffee I would consider myself quite the nerd. So as a regular visitor in Bath, I discovered a coffeehouse gem a long time ago, that I talked about on my blog this summer, and I've never gone back.

I got my regular: a soya latte, but as we didn't want to hit rush hour on the way home from a rugby match, I had to take it to go this time. However I love the cosy, small space above the coffee bar; perfect for taking some time to yourself, and to nosy at other people walking along the high street.

But on this occasion, I sipped my soya latte while singing along to the car radio. Needless to say I wasn't unhappy with this alternative.